So you’ve decided to switch up your diet and are aiming to get more fruits and vegetables.
Now while this article is all about the benefits of plant-based foods, that’s not to say meat is bad for you.
Meat has a load of health benefits including being a solid source of protein. Also, just because you’re going more plant-based doesn’t mean you can’t get your meat fix here and there.
So why make all this effort to go plant-based?
Well, there are in fact a load of scientifically backed benefits.
The main reason for this being that plants are rich sources of many nutrients that are important for good health, including unsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals, and protein.
For heart health protection, your diet needs to focus on the quality of plant foods says Dr. Ambika Satija of the department of nutrition at the Harvard.
But going plant-based and healthy is really expensive!
It definitely does not have to be, in fact, eating plant-based can actually be cheaper in some cases.
For example, tinned tomatoes are generally considered to be more beneficial than fresh tomatoes.
Why is this?
Basically, canned tomatoes offer something that fresh can't.
Tomatoes are preserved using heat, which releases lycopene—a carotenoid that helps prevent prostate and breast cancer.
So what are the main benefits of having a plant-based diet?
Let’s run through the top 5:
Lower blood pressure
Potassium-rich foods help lower blood pressure, so having a diet with loads of these types of foods - as we get with a plant-based diet - is going to work wonders on your blood pressure.
Not only will this help alleviate stress and anxiety, but lowers the risk of other diseases as well.
Take a look at the next tofurkey/plant-based sausages you come across, it’s likely they’ll have a load of protein but no cholesterol - compare this to a pork sausage which will typically have 71 mg or 23% or your recommended daily intake.
This is because plants contain no cholesterol.
So going plant-based is a pretty sure way of reducing your cholesterol - which will reduce the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer.
Better blood sugar levels
Fighting high blood sugar means getting more fiber, this is because it reduces the absorption rate of sugars in your blood and as a result stops you from feeling you need to eat more.
Lower rates of cancer
A low fat, whole foods plant-based diet is the number one way to improve your chances of avoiding cancer risks (while also avoiding smoking and alcohol, of course).
Animal foods have been linked to cancer, especially colon and breast cancer.
Going from animal food to plant-based will help you lose weight.
Healthy, sustainable weight loss happens naturally when you consume more fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Additionally, you will likely experience less digestion problems and better sleep on a plant based diet, along with less inflammation and lower risks of diabetes.
But, to be sure you’re getting all these benefits, be sure to choose clean, whole foods.
Hold on, though, what about losing protein when you go plant-based?
Perhaps one of the biggest concerns I hear mentioned about going plant-based diet is lack of protein - especially from guys working out.
So, the pre-empt any protein-related questions, the following are protein-rich plant-based foods that’ll more than make up for meat.
- Tofu, tempeh and edamame
- Chickpeas and most varieties of beans
- Oats and oatmeal
- Chia seeds
- Nuts, nut butters and other seeds
Going plant-based doesn’t mean you need to go cold (or warm) turkey.
You can eat a plant-based diet without going completely vegetarian from the start.
In fact, a lot of the time it really helps to ease into things.
Our advice would be to start eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
Glucosa Factor is another healthy option you should consider for better health.
Once it starts becoming part of your daily routine you can decide to scale things up or down according to your preferences.
**Disclaimer: this doesn’t mean becoming vegan, doing yoga, and moving to Brooklyn.